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The Unsealed wants you to write a poem about how YOU are becoming the change you want to see in the world for a chance to get PUBLISHED in a book. All submissions are due by midnight (EASTERN TIME) on July 31, 2023. Winners will be notified via Email. 

 

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  • The light is within you

    A seed is planted in the ground with purpose, igniting a fire, taking up space
    A new life is born
    Our ancestors were born at a precise moment in time
    Allowing you, me, we to be born
    Written in the stars we were to live in this moment
    A mosaic of all those who came before
    Walking alongside us, growing with us
    Time alive is precious

    Flowers inside of you and me
    Garden of thoughts of who we are and becoming to be
    Pluck out the weeds, but observe their growth
    Understand why they do, what are weeds saying to you
    Conserving energy to understand what makes you thrive
    Stretching roots can be scary, but who knows what’s on the other side
    Growing pains sometimes they are
    Yet I still rise
    Some days can be filled with rain and storms
    Normalize the rainbow of emotions to find freedom

    Watch the birds, bees, and butterflies fly through, around, and over you
    Benefiting of off your gifts to the world,
    Watch and observe and don’t forget to treat yourself
    Find your tribe to support you, the flowers around you
    Authentic in their own right, different and diverse, as are you

    Strong rooted in community
    All together growing and blossoming
    Growing at your own pace and glistening

    In this world don’t be anything but you
    The light is within you

    Melanie

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    • “Conserving energy to understand what makes you thrive”
      I read this line over and over again! I even wrote it down because this is something I have struggled with for a while, I want to conserve healthy energy and give that same energy back. Thank you for planting the seed. 🙂

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      • Hi Gie, thank you for your time to read my poem. I appreciate your kindness to share your time and thoughts with me. Your comment means a lot. I am honored that line resonated with you. I wholeheartedly feel with you as that is an area too that I am working on. We are on the journey together. Cheers to growing and nurturing ourselves. 🙂 Happy…read more

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  • Topanga

    Their little toes massaged with coco butter
    Its past bedtime, but I know it’s worth it
    To give them what I so desperately wanted
    Caring for them, is caring for me
    At age five and again at three

    We’re tired
    Exhausted actually
    The beach disappeared, we stayed so long

    What was your favorite part of your day, I ask
    Now, they say
    A gentle reminder for me
    To just be

    Like waves crashing and beginning
    Over and over again
    Moments passing

    No push
    No pull
    Just here with them
    Present.

    Every moment, they’re learning
    My words enter their ears and remain in their bodies
    My hands, how they care for them

    I am their guide
    They are their captain
    I keep them safe
    They choose their direction

    My ancient eyes
    My family unknowingly gave me to judge
    Remarkably replaced, with practice

    My new eyes
    To see
    To heal
    To be, me.

    Their big, little blue eyes softly close
    As I lather coco butter on my feet

    Respecting them, is respecting me
    Filling my cup
    To quinch our thirst
    To be held
    To be heard
    To know, we are capable
    We are good inside.

    Mel Taul

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    • Aww Mel, This is beautiful. Your children are lucky to have a mother with a sweet and soft heart. I have heard from others, that giving your children the love that you needed as a child can be incredibly healing. Thank you for sharing. Love changes the world and inspires others to do the same. Xo Lauren.

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    • Mel this was beautiful. You can’t pour from an empty cup and I am so glad you stop , take in peace and refill!! This picture is pretty cool and who doesn’t love the beach is such a relaxing state of peace. The beach brings about a change in us all. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you well 🙂

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  • Lotus Flower

    Sprouting from an inner spring of perennial joy and goodness, my benevolent heart now approaches each season full of love and forgiveness.
    The mistakes of yesterday are not brought into today, for I hang my charismatic smile on yesterday’s lessons being the reason why tomorrow’s a better day.
    Following the pious impressions of a Yogi enabled me to stumble upon meditation, unveiling an “inner world” only seen through one “eye.”
    Tracing my own footsteps back to the beginning of “spiritual oneness”; my spiritual center, allowed me to discover a world teeming with tranquility and bliss.
    Forfeiting “two eyes” for one did not come at a cost. Instead, I profited from: heightened awareness, in-depth intuition, clairvoyance, and enhanced telepathic abilities, but most importantly. I gained the ability to “see.”
    Before meditation, my life was a mess. The “outside world” often made me depressed. Feeling as if my life was being tossed about like a boat under duress during high seas; nearly dashed against the jagged rocks. The dark rain clouds of depression often gave way to doubt, pouring more coal into the burning open furnace of my fears and insecurities.
    Persistent meditation became my mental hygiene, brushing away my depression, doubts, fears, and insecurities; cultivating a flourishing mental garden from an overflowing fountain of Self-Love. Now, the “outside world” doesn’t affect me quite as much as it once did. I can only thank meditation for becoming my savior; a life raft I can cast perpetually to save myself from life’s high seas.
    Meditation taught me that we cannot change other people! We weren’t put here to! We can only change ourselves! But a kind wide-smile, empathetic listening, or gentle words of encouragement can be a lantern of hope during someone’s darkest days.
    I was born a conscientious person with a credulous nature and a pure heart, almost unfit for a world orbiting in reverse. In the early days of my life, I did not fair too well for having such noble qualities. In my later years, meditation showed me that I was born to be a king: ordained to help create a better world from the overflowing cup of goodness existing inside of me.
    These days, butterflies flutter past me closely, hummingbirds levitate nearby, dogs are overzealous to greet me, and little children hurry to hug me at the knees. Maybe it’s my innocence. Perhaps I appear luminous, finally unafraid to reveal my light to the world.

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    • Love love this. You are right, you were born to be a king. And your kind soul is an instrument of change. I want to learn more about meditating. I hear it does wonders!!!! Thank you for sharing, and thank you for being you! <3Lauren

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      • Hello Lauren, thank you for offering such high praise and recognition for my work. I really appreciate it. When I wrote Lotus Flower, my intentions were to illustrate a significant personal experience; a life changing one, in hopes to help people realize the power of self-healing. Judging by your glowing response, I was able to capture my purest…read more

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    • Meditation is powerful. That type of mind peace is incredible. I need to really learn how to get back to that. I love a holistic change theory and learning to let go of burdens that you did not create. Thank you for sharing your scope of things. 🙂

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  • Blink Your I

    How do we change the world? It is far from easy. First, you take your squeegee.

    When we take the squeegee we focus on what “I” can change and looking up to the sky should not be the only thing you use to figure out why.

    Reflecting is ok, but there will come a day where action is the takeaway!

    The answers to your question is by evaluating one letter I!

    That is how the world will change in a blink of an eye!

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    • Jake, this is very clever and creative, and also very true. Your wisdom is truly incredible. You view the world from a unique, deep, and powerful lens. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being a part of our family. <3 Lauren

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    • Thank you, Lauren! Your kind words always hit the spot. My unique perspective certainly has been heightened by my positive experience on the UNSEALED!

      I can’t wait to learn more in the coming months in years!
      All the best!
      Jake

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    • Whoa!! Quite an interesting concept if “eye” I do see so myself!! Thank you for reminding Me that the change will always start within! I am wishing you so well 🙂

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  • For Our Souls are bigger than the temporary

    Fumbling teaches you a life lesson, two, or six hundred thousand times.
    Sometimes life is a lab puppy who stays a puppy for life tearing up or peeing on your shoes.
    We must laugh sometimes at how we strive to be perfect when we are so far away from that term, far away like clear transparent turquoise water hidden in the northern Idaho mountains.
    The rush of fake Photoshopped gleaming diamonds and wealthy luxurious cars plaster on commercial boards, in magazines of teenagers’ hands at the library their teacher forced them to go to or the YouTube screen our young child has; the constant fake ads popping up on our social media platforms trying to define us, trying to create
    a norm-a trend that is all too repetitive.
    Yet, we heart & blood connect, maintain our identities, hybrid the best, flush out the worst,
    and try to thrive in corners like spiders at night webbing possibility.
    We know in our souls -fake is not real.
    We know this and if we try to grasp or mold ourselves into temporary perfectionism of a lie,
    we know we will vanish into empty holes without a galaxy.
    That is why we/ I still try to feel Mother earth,
    that is why we/I put our phones down,
    that is why we/I smile at each other, be gentle, be forgiving and have grace with what’s to come –
    magical moments as a blue heron flies down before a sunset sky in the pond at the Japanese gardens trying to decide whether his beak can hold a golden koi.
    The magics of moments and decisions of contemplation, honest and true to our survival.
    For our souls are bigger than the temporary,
    so we glean and connect to the vast waters of the earth, we hike into the hills where trees sway and whisper love to our ears, and starbursts shine on our worth.
    We shimmer and know that being authentic and fragile is our only hope to heal from trauma, and
    that it is our only hope that connects us and brings us back to one in the completeness of the earth – the dirt, the sun, the water, the air – it helps us breathe and connect as we should. We/I teach and receive from its abundance and share this with the children whose hands put down screens and run into the forests barefoot
    embracing the glory of future and fulfilling the growth that the skies and lands provide.

    Christina Mitma Momono

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    • Christina, connecting with nature is incredibly important. We so need to put down our phones and connect with the world around us. I am so glad you see this, and are encouraging others to see this as well. You are for sure making the world better. Thank you for sharing. <3 lauren

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  • mariah_murphy submitted a contest entry to Group logo of How are you changing the world?How are you changing the world? 8 months, 3 weeks ago

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    I Change The World...

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  • It starts with me

    I want to be that guy that you can be free to speak your mind to, you can lean on all the time.

    I want to be the mirror that helps you see yourself clearer, that encourages your true self to get a little nearer,

    come and plays devils advocate for the angels make you look at things from different angles ,

    Or I help the world value the person more than the work, Maybe I can help change minds to put people into trees instead of the dirt,

    help be the change to say it’s OK to hurt

    let me help you, because for so long we’ve been told it’s not ok to feel.

    But that’s not real! Because every single person who will read this is struggling with something they may not admit,

    or the pain and trauma they’ve suffered have caused them to forget

    a healthy way to cope looking at life through the cross hairs of a rifle scope,
    I want to help pull your finger away from the trigger and make it look towards hope,

    Maybe I can help change the thought of 40 hours of work,
    Instead, give those people 40 hours of freedom from all these imposed rules of life and society.

    Imagine what this world would be like if we all were able to pursue what makes us happy,

    I really mean it think about it. I don’t mean to get sappy

    it’s just everyone that you meet seems to be drained at least a little bit of joy,
    how do I find a way to intersect with my inner boy?

    The world is so hell bent on getting another dollar or getting another follow,
    but we lack soul and substance our bodies are merely hollow,

    I want to help fill people with things that leave them fulfilled
    where all we worry about is things that leave us with thrill instead of worried about bills.
    The best way to do that is to embody that thought and let it it flow out.

    I challenge you to do something you love today, let loose and show out !

    Rickwritesthepoet

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    • Rick!!!!! I absolutely love this. The rhyme and the message are both so powerful. I am honored to know you. Your soul is so good and so pure. I am sure you have changed the lives of many and don’t even know it. Thank you for sharing this! <3 lauren

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      • Lauren, thank you for your words of encouragement and your words of kindness. I really feel like a community like this one you have created is essential for people like us. I’ll do my best to continue on trying to make people hold onto my words

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  • Be the change, they said.

    Be the change you want to see.
    Sounds so simple, huh?
    Do the thing, leave your mark, benefit each other.

    But they never said how it’s done.
    What steps to take.
    Hurdles to overcome.

    There is SO MUCH research,
    it never really stops.
    My rights, your rights, their rights.
    Some pyramid we all fall off.

    There is a lot of running around,
    many capitol steps.
    Just for your voice,
    to be silenced and stripped.

    There are connections you need to make,
    and that’s overwhelming.
    When your heart starts to race,
    and the situation feels overpowering.

    There are technicalities to keep in mind.
    And boundaries you can skate…
    So long as you stay true,
    and use that truth to fight hate.

    There are lies to decipher,
    using even more research.
    Plus, those connections you’ve made,
    progress can emerge.

    There’s energy to expend,
    and worry that you carry.
    So, take time for yourself,
    eat, relax, be merry.

    Be the change you want to see,
    even when it frightens you.
    Devote your time, take that step,
    and just keep walking through.

    Macy Fluharty

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    • I love this line, “use that truth to fight hate.” I used to say if you live your life the right way you will always be empowered by truth instead of in fear of it. Because the only thing more powerful than the powerful, is the truth! Macy, Your poem clearly reflects your strength, courage, and power as well as your truth. Thank you for sharing and…read more

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      • Thank you, I appreciate it! I really enjoyed writing this and reflecting on the advocacy I’ve been doing and the situations I have found myself in because of it. 2023 has been an exhausting year, I’m glad I’m a little more prepared for the next legislative session!

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  • Seek it, Be it.

    Wishes of world peace and overwhelming compassion
    Get drowned out by social media trends and fashion
    Big dreams of empathy and understanding
    Destroyed by attitudes that are entitled and demanding
    Thoughts of self-love and confidence rising from within
    Then the judgments and rude comments start coming in

    When you’re satisfied with yourself and your mind
    You recognize what matters is being warm-hearted and kind
    When you do what brings you that childlike happiness
    The negativity around you begins to digress
    Your mindset and actions make up your universe
    When you focus on yourself, you break the curse

    Filling your own cup first may sound selfish
    But the energy you give to yourself allows you to be selfless
    As you acknowledge and release your internal judgements
    It is easier to make connections and commitments
    When we can all connect and open our hearts to one another
    This is when we can heal and learn to self-discover

    Human beings are meant to change and evolve
    There will always be obstacles and problems to solve
    The more you take care of your mind and soul
    The resilience will build, and you’ll enter a state of flow
    In this beautiful world, the only constant is change
    As you step into the magic of love, what happens next is strange

    You start to see others with love and empathy
    You understand why someone sees things differently
    Although you may have different opinions and lives
    Similarities and experiences allow the connection to thrive
    When we all connect with a common goal for good
    The universe will make sure it all happens as it should

    This world desires to be full of love and connection
    The world does not want us to strive for perfection
    The world needs people who are vulnerable and open
    The world needs less of resentment and hearts that are broken
    One of the greatest things we can do is spread our light
    So, to be the change I wish to see, I am committed to spreading mine

    Jena

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    • awwww JENA, This is so so so so good. You are most certainly the light that the world needs, and you just keep getting brighter and brighter. I agree the more we heal and take care of ourselves, the more we can serve and change the world. Thank you for sharing this incredibly beautiful poem. You are truly a gift to the world (and our community).…read more

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      • Thank you so much Lauren!!! your comments and kind words are always so inspiring and encouraging. I always feel so good after I write, and I know I keep saying it but I definitely want to write more and keep staying inspired and inspiring others! I am so happy to be part of this community! <3

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  • PSO: I am not a World Changer!

    How am I changing the world?
    The real question is what makes you think
    Me of all people… One being.
    Has the power to do so?
    I ain’t no Jesus.
    I can’t be a savior.
    I can’t change the world.
    But I can elevate my mind
    and change my behavior.

    The world is cruel.
    We all just wear our
    rose colored glasses.
    And say we go to the
    “beat of our own drum”
    yet we still comment, like, follow and subscribe
    in masses.
    we still have to be hip with the latest trend
    and we so easily give into the fleshly pleasures and desires
    of sin.

    The world is a conundrum of infinite paradoxes
    and flexible morals that produce infinite quarrels.
    It’s always, “Be Left or Right”, no in between.
    Like thinking for oneself is a forgotten
    right and a lost thing.

    I can try to change the world.
    But I always heard that the
    “nail that sticks out will be hammered down”
    Honestly who really wants the world to change?
    I have been told it is as pointless
    as chasing the wind and fighting the rain.
    Many can assemble and try to fight for what’s right.
    But i was told it is like being stranded in the middle of the ocean
    with no land in sight;
    You Scream for help as pools or sharks
    surround you ready to take a bite.
    Who said the world needs changing?
    How else would we be entertained?
    Who would we be able to blame when we don’t get it right?
    Who’s fault will it be?

    I know you think I am a cynic.
    A Debby Downer, Negative Nancy, or Boo-Hoo Betty.
    Or at least someone who is pessimistic and petty.
    But I just wanted to keep it real.
    This is the world we are talking about.

    I am a black woman.
    My life is assigned different cheap thrills.
    If we are popping pills,
    Would you choose red or blue?
    To see or not to see…
    That’s really the question.
    It comes with answers that are the same yet different.

    Everyone has a different experience.
    Their stories of different yet similar themes and plots.
    It is all about perspective.
    Does the world really need to change?
    Can I be perceptive and state my objective?
    The world constantly changes whether
    I will it or not.
    The best thing I can do is change my
    Behavior, think pure thoughts, and stay in my lane.

    Because somewhere in the world
    The poor will always be poor.
    The sick will always be sick.

    Someone will always be mourning the dead.
    The streets will still run red with the blood of
    innocent and the guilty.
    Gun shots will still fly
    and injustice with be one of the many
    causes of why people die.
    Realistically speaking
    Every effort would be dross
    because there will always be
    the impending doom of chaos.

    But I guess I can still try.

    No one person
    Man, Woman, Boy or Girl
    can change the world.
    But I can ignite my light.
    I can shine bright
    through the darkness.
    be the beckon of light
    that guides the lost home.
    I can make an impact.

    I can be the match
    and light the wick
    for the candles of change.
    or i can be the kerosene
    to keep the light going.
    When the cold of the world is
    extra mean.
    I can keep you warm.
    Nurse your wounds
    if you should ever get harmed.

    My mom gifted me a frame.
    with a quote that said.
    ” Be the change you want to see in the world!”
    To this day it still sits on the side of my bed.

    I can’t change the world.
    But I can choose to love and not to hate.
    Everyone deserves respect.
    That’s no debate.
    I can live righteous
    help strangers
    and if i have the resources
    deliver people out of
    Danger.
    I can be kind
    and choose to not allow the world
    to shut me up or make me blind.
    I can teach the peace that comes in life
    when you abandon sorrow, worry, and anger.
    I can choose to love unconditionally.

    Start a new trend.
    Screaming on the streets
    “Let love in!”
    Because Love has already won
    You just have to knock on the door of victory.
    I ain’t no Harold Melvin
    But i know the world won’t
    get any better. If we let it be.
    I can’t change the world.
    But I can emulate what I hope it to be.
    Because I know I am not going to
    change the entire world
    but I do know that a change can start with me.

    DeAndrea A. Baker

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    • DeAndrea, this is so strong and powerful. There is so much evil in the world, I get it. But, as you said, you can be the beginning of change. Your behavior, your choices, and your kindness can have a ripple effect beyond what you will ever know or see. Thank you for sharing your talent, wisdom, and heart with us. <3Lauren

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      • Awwww thank you so much Lauren! It’s an honor to participate and thank you for giving us writers and platform to put ourselves out there! I’m so happy I found you and this community! Can’t wait to keep participating and grow as a writer.

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  • Attachment of Love

    You were the lock that kept us together.
    A divine grace which sweep the insecure adolescence, and brought many to be loved in essence. Like lessons we to hold to mistakes in time and grew to understand the deception of divide.
    Like a mist I was clouded for we were the stepping stones to a peace of Eden. In unity we found solace, a bond unbroken and never to be hidden.
    For you were the lock, and we the key, a tapestry of love forever woven.

    Rashan Speller

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    • Aww this is very sweet. It sounds like having a love so strong and beautiful is how you are creating change in the world. That is such a sweet sentiment. <3 Lauren

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      • Thank you I been having a lot of writers block at the moment so this was a challenge for me but I think it worked out very well I appreciate you.

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  • Every day is Halloween in America

    It’s always Halloween in America somewhere:
    some cop is playing hero
    some caped crusader just shot a Black kid
    the ones at school are waiting for the asshole dressed as Rambo
    Somewhere a woman cowers while a wanna-be (coward) Joker sets her life in his sights to set fire to it.

    So then, I ask you this:

    Why aren’t the rest of us dressed as Captain America,
    equipped with SHIELDS instead of weapons?
    Why aren’t we strangling the truth out of lassoed lawmakers and lobbyists
    –like Gal Godot pretends (for us) she can?
    Why are we not armored with benevolence and righteousness–
    That we might live to fight another day against sick–NOT “super”–villains?

    Where are our shields, that we might protect our lives in the live-action comic-display of sniveling cowardice by those who are comfortable with & profiting from our collective misery?!

    We’ll pay Disney to distract us from our own deaths
    Instead of train to take action
    With the exact same tools
    our HULK-y, hunkalicious heroes have?

    Give me a shield of Kevlar® instead of a teacher’s body to protect students with!
    Better yet–give it to them instead; we already leave our children locked down to defend themselves.

    I’LL REPEAT:

    (Better yet–give it to them instead. We already leave our children in lockdown: defenseless.)

    I’LL REPEAT:

    WE ALREADY TEACH OUR CHILDREN LOCKDOWN DRILLS, ACTIVE SHOOTER PROTOCOLS, THE FOLLOWING fucked up “stop drop and roll” for being fired upon instead of for fire drills: RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.

    Now, I’LL ADD: Time to change. Three new words: SHIELDS UP: PROTECT!

    Give them what Captain America has–until the “captains” of America’s gun industry and body politic are defeated by the Avengers, the Justice League, the superheroes in ALL of us–

    –who walk the streets each day (some still in masks).

    Well, it’s time to play the game these Halloween horrors, these Jasons and Freddys
    have unleashed upon all of us!

    Time to take up ARMOR, not arms, my Good Guys, my Wonder Women!
    Time to form the FALANX that fights the PHALLUS
    Time to train like the “heroes” of old and the ones
    playing them in a stream on a screen.
    Time to shield ourselves from their Halloween fantasy!
    Time to trick them into being treated like the joke that they are.
    Time to laugh as their bullets fall uselessly–or better yet–ricochet right back.
    Time to remove their ability to assault and attack
    By distributing prophylactic protection
    to EVERY PERSON these broke dicks
    would seek to fuck with their guns,
    EVERY CHILD they force a late term abortion on while
    screaming about their “right to kill.”

    Halloween comes only once a year. But in this country, it’s every day.
    No more costumes. No more vigils.
    Just shields and an end to the nightmare.
    An end to being prey.
    Of being told to pray.
    When if we just beat them at their own fantasy game–

    WE CAN PROTECT OUR KIDS…(if we want to)
    –the world can change!

    And if you still have ANY doubts, just ask yourself:
    What would Jesus do? What would Captain America say?

    Voting is open!

    Voting ends July 31, 2024 12:00am

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  • The Appearance of The Inevitable's Impact

    There is no doubt that one of my favorite motivational quotes is “Be the change that you wish you see.” Herstory told, they would like to repeat it…

    Like how everyday I choose to defy the odds of struggle. Abundantly filled to navigate new heights… An unshakable force of humble.

    Someday they’d say “Yeah, she did talk about making change…” but I hope that they actually can see it!!!

    I’d love to tell them how I did it… and that everything in life is intentionally done for a reason. I let my guards down, enough standing on defense.

    I challenged the flaws, to know whatever is underneath it. Impacting the masses is the goal that I’m reaching.

    Bigger than me… My life is bigger than me!!!

    I am devotedly aiming towards doing the best things. Learning that all of the better things in life are not free.

    I am actively working my light within my art, family, and community.

    I’ve sacrificed it all, but this mission to help others involved truly helping myself to start. It shows more than something when freedom calls!

    I have all the answers that I need divinely a dial away. All I have to do is let them in and say “Thank you for leading the way!”

    It’s important for the picture, pouring into myself. Mixed emotional colors create art that’s good for one’s health.

    Developed within trusting the process… I had no clue I’d see it like this.
    In order to get clearer, I push past the resistance.

    I am a leader! I choose to be the one to reach back to uplift & help other people out!!

    As I reminisced about 5 cents ago, all of it did not add up… but, merely relying on money just was not enough.

    I am purposeful.

    I embrace this with gladness, that the shift that I vibrate while in this world is peace beyond the madness.

    Valencia B.

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    Voting ends July 31, 2024 12:00am

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    • Valenica,You are a beautiful person. Your life is already so much bigger than you. Your compassion and spirit reverberate and impact many. Thank you for sharing your heart with us all. <3 Lauren

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      • Laurennn, thank you so much for your kindness. Always! It really does mean alot. Thank you for providing this safe space and platform for us to share with one another in this way. The Unsealed fam will forever have a place in my heart along this journey 😄❤

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    • Your impact is astonishing. To be able to realize both your strengths and weaknesses and use them to make a positive change is amazing. It is ultra important to pour into yourself, to make time for yourself and give yourself the grace need to be the ever change. A person of your magnitude Valencia are special. Thank you for sharing!!

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      • Wow, Gie… Thank you so so much!!! I am nearly at a loss for words on how timely your kind words are.
        I truly needed this! I appreciate you, and receive your warmth & light. Much💞

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  • You Will See Me On The Screen

    I grew up without knowing that I was autistic.
    I saw autistic adults on TV, but I didn’t have a clue.
    Maybe if I saw an autistic child like me on my little TV set,
    I would’ve accepted myself the moment I learned the truth.
    Alas, I didn’t see myself on the screen.

    Autistic-coded characters have helped me accept myself.
    I saw myself in Lilo when I was seven years old.
    Passionate, frustrated, fiery, goofy, emotional, and accepting.
    I felt seen before even knowing that I was autistic.
    Finally, I saw myself on the screen.

    After learning the truth about myself years later,
    I slipped into a depression of misinformation.
    A ladder of information slid down the hole to my rescue,
    But a history of neurotypical-ridden depictions left splinters.
    Alas, I didn’t see myself on the screen.

    Suddenly, out of the blue, a beloved show from my childhood announces
    That a little autistic girl would be moving to a specific street of puppets.
    Finally, a little autistic girl like me on the screen!
    Granted, I’m now a grown woman, but still.
    Finally, I saw myself on the screen.

    News breaks out that another movie about autism is coming out,
    But it’s another tale of misinformation and disastrous casting.
    I tried to warn the misinformed of this dangerous depiction,
    Only to be gaslighted and silenced by the trolls under the bridge.
    Alas, I didn’t see myself on the screen.

    After the dumpster fire of a movie, good news arrives for once.
    A teen drama reboot has included an autistic actress in an autistic role.
    The role in question reminded me of my teenaged self.
    I would’ve loved myself sooner if I had seen this as a teen.
    Finally, I saw myself on the screen.

    I want autistic youths to see themselves on the screen.
    They deserve to see the autistic characters that I didn’t grow up with.
    I’m writing countless stories, poems, and plays about people like me.
    If no one else is going to provide the material, then I’ll do it myself.
    You will see me on the screen.

    Catherine Burford

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    Voting ends July 31, 2024 12:00am

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    • This line is sooo powerful, “If no one else is going to provide the material, then I’ll do it myself.
      You will see me on the screen.” We will see you on screen, and I am going to tell everyone, “I know her!” You are amazing, and courageous, and a leader. Keep being an example for others. You’re helping and teaching so many. <3 Lauren

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    • I see you on my screen now and I’m thankful for your transparency Catherine. I want to see you on screens globally telling your story and resonating deep within. You’re able! Amazing! And well educated! You are right about the movies providing mass misinformation on a topic they seem to know nothing about or didn’t research or ask any humans…read more

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  • adrewrites submitted a contest entry to Group logo of How are you changing the world?How are you changing the world? 9 months ago

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    Feet on the ground, heart in the clouds

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  • The Sky Has No Limit

    The phoenix rose like ashes from the grave
    A burning desire flying high.

    That It wasn’t just trying to get by,

    It was
    ‘The sky.

    And way up high it went where it left the past behind and began a new journey through nothing else but clothed in the flames of the light.

    Its spirit ran high like doves in the sky.
    Singing made it feel more alive,
    looking up made more sense than looking down, so up it went higher and higher..

    Until one day it experienced the change.

    The endless rage has finally slipped away.

    Letting go is scary but so serene.

    The unhealthy patterns leave no control
    by any means.

    Believe in the sky but believe in no limit,
    for we are the universe embracing the spirit.

    1:11 on the clock
    trust your intuition and embrace the change.

    There are levels to realizing your soul,
    To break free and go into the unknown.

    Once you spread those wings and fly,
    You will feel the fire arise.

    In every breathe in every movement,
    Set an intention to walk with a power so divine
    That NOBODY can harm your light.

    In the embers there was a glow of fiery red,
    That took flight through the night.

    Once you spread your wings so wide,
    No one can dim your light.

    It takes time to be reborn,
    To fly free from your cage,
    But trust You will find a way,
    To embrace the dawn for a brand new day.

    There are infinite cycles of life and death,
    If you fall, you will always start again.
    With a dance of destiny, and a timeless quest,
    To rise again, and break the soul free of limits that are put in our way, and give us a chance to inspire.
    From the depths of fear and despair,
    You ascend deeper into strength and grace.

    As your spirit ascends, you transcend with resilience born and trials you have faced,
    It is your testament of beauty and grace.

    It radiates blue, in the hue, its feathers blaze,
    A tapestry woven, in a dazzling maze.
    Each plume has a story, a chapter to unfold,
    The mystery happens once in a lifetime,
    OF RISING ABOVE,
    and being brave enough,to overcome.

    The phoenix rises through the galaxy skies,
    A living marvel that never dies, signing lullabies all through the night.
    Where the passion ignites in its fiery heart.

    And through these trials,
    it finds its way,
    it finds its power.
    A force so strong as a flaming flower,
    And as it sours it whispers a truth:
    Life emerges from the ashes anew.

    So let us not just learn from the phoenix’s power,
    But embrace it with every inch of our soul.
    Embrace our shadows, for from the ashes,
    We too shall rise, with strength and love,
    Our spirits will fly high.

    Shiana Jasmine

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    Voting ends July 31, 2024 12:00am

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    • Aww shiana, This is very sweet. This is my favorite line, “Once you spread those wings and fly,
      You will feel the fire arise.” So powerful. And so true. Thank you for sharing. <3 Lauren

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    • You are the grand phoenix Shiana, you fought mercifully to retain your rising but also allowed change to bring peace. Thank you for sharing this amazing piece of change, strength, and light. What is next for you? How will you rise above and make the next change even more impactful? 🙂

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  • poeticgoddess submitted a contest entry to Group logo of How are you changing the world?How are you changing the world? 9 months, 1 weeks ago

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    Mother Earth

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  • angelina_urias submitted a contest entry to Group logo of How are you changing the world?How are you changing the world? 9 months, 1 weeks ago

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    Peace from Chaos

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  • nickinance submitted a contest entry to Group logo of How are you changing the world?How are you changing the world? 9 months, 2 weeks ago

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    The Freedom Train

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  • journee2themoon submitted a contest entry to Group logo of How are you changing the world?How are you changing the world? 9 months, 2 weeks ago

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    My Example, My Change

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